Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-381
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-381

  08 Feb 2019

08 Feb 2019

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal AMT. A final paper is not foreseen.

Pan-Arctic measurements of wintertime water vapour column using a satellite-borne microwave radiometer

Christopher Perro1, Thomas J. Duck1, Glen Lesins1, Kimberly Strong2, Penny M. Rowe3,4, James R. Drummond1, and Robert J. Sica5 Christopher Perro et al.
  • 1Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3NorthWest Research Associates, Redmond, WA, USA
  • 4Department of Physics, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 5Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Abstract. A methodology for retrieving high-latitude winter water vapour columns from passive microwave satellite measurements from Perro et al. (2016) is extended to use measured surface reflectance ratios under more realistic surface reflection assumptions. Pan-Arctic wintertime water vapour is retrieved from Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) measurements made from January 2012 through March 2015 (December to March). The water vapour retrievals are validated using two ground based instruments: the G-band Vapor Radiometer (GVR) at Barrow, Alaska, and the Extended-Range Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (E-AERI) at Eureka, Nunavut. E-AERI was chosen as an additional point of validation compared to Perro et al. (2016) due to the different technology and frequencies employed to determine water vapour column compared to the ATMS and GVR. For water vapour columns less than 6 kg m−2, the biases are +2.6 % and +0.01 % relative to the GVR and E-AERI, respectively. A comparison with radiosonde humidity measurements shows they are dry relative to the ATMS measurements in North America and Western Europe, and moist in Asia and Eastern Europe, with an apparent dependence on radiosonde manufacturer. Reanalyses (ERA-5, ERA-Interim, ASR V2, JRA-55 and NCEP) are systematically drier than the ATMS measurements for water vapour columns less than 6 kg m−2, with relative biases ranging from −10 % to −23 %. These differences could have implications for the understanding of the Arctic water budget and climate.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

Christopher Perro et al.

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Christopher Perro et al.

Christopher Perro et al.

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This preprint has been withdrawn.

Short summary
A satellite retrieval for water vapour column was adapted for use over different surfaces in the wintertime Arctic. The retrieval was validated at multiple locations where there was excellent agreement. Reanalyses were found to be 10–15 % drier compared to our water vapour retrieval. Reanalyses represent the present day understanding of the atmosphere so this discrepancy between reanalyses and our retrieval could have implications for the current understanding of the climate.